States’ public debt stock hits N1.8 trillion


• Lagos, Bayelsa, C’River top list of borrowers

• Borno, Yobe least indebted

• Oyo, Jigawa and FCT liabilities unknown

WITH a huge debt portfolio of N1.86 trillion, the country’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are in dire financial straits in their bid to ensure development.

The Debt Management Office (DMO), which in a report put the total liabilities at N1.86 trillion as at the end of June last year, said that this figure was up from the N1.42 trillion level of December 2011.

A breakdown of the figure indicates that local or domestic debt obligations account for N1.186 trillion with the balance being the foreign debt liabilities. Contractors’ liabilities top the chart on the debt table followed closely by commercial banks’ loans, bonds, pension and gratuity and government-to-government debt in that order.

The DMO’s report said: “The total public debt of the 36 states rose from N1.42 trillion as at December 31, 2011 to N1.86 trillion by June 2012. The marginal increase of about 3.32 per cent was as a result of slight increases in both the external and domestic debt stocks. As in 2011, domestic debt dominated the total public debt portfolio of the 36 states of the federation in June amounting for over 77 per cent of the total as it did in the previous year.”

The entire records of Oyo and Jigawa states’ liabilities and those of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration are the only data missing out in the report of the exercise begun some five years ago and concluded December last year by the DMO. The three administrations reportedly didn’t co-operate much with the DMO during the exercise. This, however, could not be confirmed yesterday, as all efforts to speak with top officials of the debt management agency were not successful.

The report titled “Five years of Effective Sub-National Debt Management in Nigeria” was obtained exclusively by The Guardian under strict confidentiality as members were still studying it preparatory to their meeting on the report next March 11.

The report listed Lagos State as the highest borrower with a contingent liability of N238.262 billion, comprising a local debt of N157,536 billion and a foreign component of N80.726 billion. Lagos is followed by oil-rich Bayelsa State with a contingent liability of N167.173 billion, made up of a domestic debt stock of N162.822 billion and a foreign debt liability of N4.350 billion while Cross River State is placed third with a total public debt of N113.598 billion, consisting of a local debt component of N96.544 billion and foreign debt of N17.053 billion.

Next to Cross River is Rivers State, which as at June last year had contracted a total public debt of N112.229 billion made up of N106.880 billion local debt and N5.349 billion foreign debt. The state is followed by Delta State with a public debt of N93.304 billion, comprising a local debt of N90.843 billion and a foreign component of N2.46 billion. Imo and Kaduna states are next with total debts of N69.979 billion and N53.808 billion respectively.

Crisis-torn states of Borno and Yobe emerged the least indebted with Borno pulling the least public debt of N3 billion, consisting of N1.684 billion local debt and N1.894 billion foreign debt. Yobe on the other hand has only contracted a debt toll of N6.939 billion, made up of N2.088 billion local debt and N4.851 billion external debt.

However, on a debt solvency and liquidity ratio analysis relative to revenue inflow to states, Cross River State is the heaviest debtor as it scores the highest burden rating of 138.86 per cent as at December 2011, representing her total public debt to total revenue ratio. The state’s public revenue is put at N77.489 billion while its public debt is far above the figure at N107.600 billion. Also, on a scale of domestic debt stock analysis relative to Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR), Cross River polls 584 per cent, next to the highest ranked Bayelsa State, which pulled 1,712 per cent.  Cross River’s domestic debt stock relative to IGR at the period was only N16.553 billion.

On the total public debt sustainability score, Bayelsa is next to Cross River with a burden score of 104.93 per cent and a debt stock of N167.123 billion relative to its revenue base of N159.278 billion while it has the highest domestic debt burden score of 1,712 per cent relative to its IGR. The state’s local debt stock at the time of the analysis was N162.822 billion while its IGR was a paltry N9.510 billion.

Lagos State is placed as the third risky state in the total public debt solvency analysis as it polled 73.21 per cent after Cross River and Bayelsa. Lagos public debt at the time was N234.608 billion while its revenue base was put at N320.474 billion. It equally scored a ranking of 61 per cent on the domestic debt solvency analysis, as its domestic debt stock was N157.536 billion, relative to its IGR base of N257.419 billion

Author: nmmin

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